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March 22, 2012


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This misses the point of your post, but I take issue with your statement that the Giffords assassination attempt was "inspired by the climate of hate."

The shooter was inspired by the lunatic voices in his head, and he was completely out of touch with the climate around him.

Quick attempts to pass the blame are juvenile.

You forgot about Arpaio's recent new scandal...he is claiming that President Obama's Selective Service registration was faked! I seriously doubt he will survive this November.

The problem won't be getting rid of Arapaio but ousting incumbents from districts that are nearly 100% migrants from the Midwest...whom are a crazy electorate (e.g. Debbie Lesko (R), Surprise). The new redistricting maps may give the voters a chance at much needed moderation.

Michael, save your breath; Jon Talton is one of the haters,and he continues to spread this lie despite proofs to the contrary.

How did those voices get in Loughner's head to begin with? He was NOT out-of-touch with the climate around him and he listened to the usual Kooks and they fed his ill-formed brain. To deny this is what is really juvenile. For Tucson to smugly think they're not parse and parcel of the AZ problem of extremism is just as juvenile.

I like to call Kook extremism it "Talibanistanism".

Luckily for us, and more importantly for women, Lesko's bill stalled. Furthermore, Gould's bill to allow guns on college campuses also failed to advance due to opposition. That these bills even receive consideration from appropriations committees is lunacy: even Brewer takes issue with many of these bills. Furthermore, Sen. Pierce (replaced Russell Pearce as Senate President) opposes HB 2625, Lesko's contraception legislation.


Re- michael's statement above, In Loughner's case I suspect his mental illness started at a very early age. But the climate of the political environment certainly provided fodder for his craziness to act on. The book A Safeway in Arizona by Tom Zoellner's supports Jon's contention's. But I have talked to a number of "liberal" types that think Zollner pushed a little harder than he should have on blaming the "right wing political "kooks" for Laughner's actions.

Organized religion is evil and Theocracy is theocracy. God is charge so I agree with eclectic dog the Tea Party Taliban looks just like Al Queda.

Debbie Lesko at work:

"After the Democrats were done, Lesko and Center for Arizona Policy attorney Deborah Sheasby hijacked the microphone. The Center for Arizona Policy, a conservative lobby and education group, is behind the bill."


She was called a "Rush Limbaugh Republican" by Sen. Linda Lopez...I think she was being too nice and Lesko probably took that as a compliment. Maybe being called a "fundamentalist, Taliban-like" religious follower got her riled up.

Zoellner had a front page article in High Country News on the Giffords shooting. It was good, but he is good friends with Giffords and his bias shows towards the end of the article. It's behind the HCN paywall so I won't post a link (but I'll hold onto the hard copy if anyone is interested).

The American Civil War 2.0, seems to be mostly loud voices and radioactive rhetoric. Don't be fooled. We're debating the fundamental basis of nationhood itself. Mitt Romney released his proposed budget that promised huge DOD increases and tax cuts except for the poor (theirs will go up), and slashing the safety net. Paul Ryan's latest budget proposal is an exercise in even more sociopathic extremism. Medicaid, for example, will be gutted. Our pro-life hypocrites have an easy solution for budgetary red ink. If you're poor, die.

How did we get here? The answer is in front of your nose. It's right there in the street you live on. It's the neighbors you talk to and the neighbors you ignore. It's the distance you live from the people who no longer matter. And if you're like most Americans, your life is more segregated now than it's ever been before.

We are not one nation. We are several, and the "haves" are signaling something very important: they want to opt out of the social compact. They want to take that Shining City on the Hill and adjust the HOA rules. It will become the The Gated Community on the Golf Course. If you live outside, fend for yourselves. You're a "taker", a "liberal parasite", and emphatically not a "real American".

The madness of this project is all around us. Arizona got here early because it specializes in living arrangements where the well-to-do don't have to interact with their lessers. The worse it gets, the worse we become. We're opting for a future that finally settles the argument. Hold that banner high since you might want to remember a nation civilized enough to host an argument that all humans are created equal.

Except the people who believe they are the "haves" are more and more likely to be those whom rely on government "entitlements". Extremism has always been with us only now, because of historically low voter turnout, has the extremist agenda been able to take the helm. 2008 was an exception but that kind of voter commitment must be engaged full-time...for every election held. It will be an uphill battle but even in Arizona the backlash against right-wing extremism is large and more coalesced than before.

It is a good thing we have Brewer as "the face" of Arizona. And the bloom is definitely on. My understanding is Jan is going to grow the economy. Her plan is to pitch to top bioscience companies and professors that they'll be able to open carry on campus and even at bars. And that they will even be able to defer some of their state taxes to private religious schools of their choice. If that strategy doesn't land top scientific talent, nothing will...

Yep. Arizona. Pretty soon ya'all be passing Mississippi on some relevant scale, like high school graduates. Ya'll moving fast forward! Keep on keep'in on:



The "haves" want to opt out of the social contract? I bring you Tyler Durden:

We do your laundry, cook your food and serve you dinner. We guard you while you sleep. We drive your ambulances. Do not fuck with us.


soleri hit on an important point that is avoided and denied by probably 80% of the population, we're still fighting the Civil War. It ain't over folks. If you think it is, then doom on you. Passed down from generation to generation, the losing side is just waiting, just like the Taliban. Combatants who use time as a weapon, have all the time in the world.

Arizona will remain a primary destination for retirees from the Middle West. The Arizona's growing reputation of intolerance and reactionary values will have no effect on the continued migration of this demographic group.

The die is sadly cast for Arizona.

It is understandable that Rogue would like to blame Anglo immigrants from the American Heartland for the right wing political hell hole that Arizona has become. He reflects back on a more enlightened time for Arizona during his childhood.

No argument with that but I would suggest the political tilt has occurred throughout much of the US. The organized, well funded right movement at every level of American government and society has had its effect many places in the US.

Continue to point fingers at Anglo immigrants if you feel better, but the challenge is far deeper than Midwestern ignorance.

totally agree jmav

I would propose the following equation for consideration:

dumb down the population + turn up the volume of disinformation (Fox news) - legitimate sources of knowledge (books, newspapers) + nonsensical distractions = angry idiocracy all around.

When the future of the American experiment in self-government is at stake...


Welcome back Soleri. My girl friend can't decide if she likes your philosophy or Charles Bowdens craziness, better. And because of Petro's post she said she is up to watching a violent movie, Thats not something she does very often.
Let the fight begin.

I appreciate phxsunfans continued optimism but I would look for a big push to keep Obama off the ballot in 2012.

"But by far the most emotional measure would mandate that the three divisions of community activities -- golf, bowling and recreation -- be self-supporting. That has pitted golfers against non-golfers and raised questions about Sun City West's future as a golf haven for retirees."

I want a piece of this action! I've always wanted to slaughter a few fat fairway rats!

Roe vs. Wade allowed states to impose restrictions after the fetus became "viable" (able to live outside the mother's womb). This ranges from 24 to 28 weeks, so 20 weeks is not that much of an additional restriction. I'm also not sure whether technological advances in post-natal care are allowed to affect the definition of "viable". Obviously, a newborn is not self-sufficient anyway.

The real solution to this problem are "morning after" pills such as RU-486. If the fetus does not develop a nervous system until six or eight weeks into pregnancy, and a pharmacological solution to unprotected intercourse is licensed for use up to 107 to 120 HOURS after unprotected sexual intercourse of contraceptive failure, the humanitarian concerns would seem to have been met and the question of surgical abortion rendered moot, by free and affordable access to emergency contraceptive pills.

The Loughner question has been discussed in detail here before. The fact that Loughner had different (or no particular) political beliefs in the high-school days before he kept to himself, doesn't change the very specifically right-wing beliefs which obsessed his You-Tube and other online postings, and which animated his rantings against politicians (including, of course Giffords). These include rants calling Giffords and others "treasonous" for failing to adhere to his newfound paleo-conservative constitutionalism; his obsession with a return to hard currency (a bi-metallic standard) and his refusal to admit debts contracted with Federal Reserve Notes; and his weird yet quite idiosyncratically right-wing comments about the use of "grammar" by the federal government, a la David Wynn Miller.

Putative "mental illness" and political motives are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, political extremism can take root in unbalanced individuals more easily than otherwise; the primary difference is that someone who is "unbalanced" is more likely to carry extreme belief systems into extreme actions which are against their personal self-interest. Loughner was clearly as politically motivated as Anders Breivik of Norway was, and no less "unbalanced". Both claim to have regarded their victims as "traitors" as judged by idiosyncratic but unquestionably political standards.

Loughner's political motivations may or may not come to the fore if and when he reaches trial. He is under tremendous legal and other pressure to plead mental illness as a mitigating circumstance. He is being fed powerful psychotropic drugs which undermine his previous "determination and personality" while being subjected to constant "psychological counselling" whose sole purpose is to convince him that he is ill. Under a combination of such pressures he may well suppress and alter his previous claims.

Individuals such as Terry Dudas who cynically employ terms such as "hater" and "lies" to defame those who insist on a sophisticated and accurate appraisal of behavior, are despicable, politically motivated hacks and should be ashamed. (Dudas is a libertarian who superficially shares a number of Loughner's political dogmas.)

Good equation AzRebel,
The political far right has found the psychological key to mobilizing large portions of American society in an emotional and compelling way. My not being raised in a conservative, rural or particularly religious environment makes it difficult for me to understand the right's effect; but it is certainly evident in the political right's success in getting people to vote and behave in ways contrary to their own best interest.

Emil, Excellent analysis on Loughner. Given your above statements regarding Loughner. If he becomes competent to understand his rights and he comes to trial and you were on the jury how do you suppose you might decide his fate considering his mental condition on the day of the killings.

The prosecution should offer the millions of dollars necessary to try the death penalty case to the victims and offer life without the possibility of parole to the Loughner. It shouldn't cost that much to complete a death penalty case with appeals, but Cal, their are many people and most of the civilized world outside the US who are against the death penalty. The legal opposition will continue and hence the cost.

FYI, Texas has had so many wrongly accused people on death row that the state has enacted a statute defining the damages for this common occurrence. Florida has a statute addressing the wrongfully convicted as well.

During the period Bruja Brewer was sentencing Medicaid recipients to summary death via budget cuts, Maricopa County continued to prosecute 65 active death penalty cases. Do the math. The Arizona killing machine.

That's an easy one cal.

Guilty, death by firing squad.

Shoot a politician, shame on you.

Shoot a little girl, you gonna die!!!!

Can a crazy person be made sane by drugs? And is it justice to try the now drugged sane person for the insane acts? Should Loughner be deemed competent for trial, which all the drugs and therapy are aiming for, he will certainly be crucified (but not on a cross of bi-metalism).

In AZ we have more than enough money to try death-penalty cases, but not enough money to care for the sick or unwanted.

JMAV- I like your suggestion. I have experienced many trials that cost the taxpayers untold amounts of money when a better solution could have been negotiated but was not, primarily due to politics. . I am well aware of the wrongly accused situation. Currently I have the book “The New Jim Crow book by Michelle Alexander on my reading shelf.

AZREBEL, given the way murders like Loughner are incarcerated if found guilty I think the sanest choice would be to take the death penalty, instead.

Cal asked me, if I were a juror in Loughner's trial, how I should "decide his fate considering his mental condition on the day of the killings".

Jurors are required to determine matters of fact AFTER being presented with the arguments of prosecutors and defense counsel (and their witnesses). If Loughner's "mental condition" is a matter of fact to be determined by the jury, then it cannot be done a priori.

Jurors are also asked to follow the instructions given by the judge in a specific case. That means, how a juror does his job is supposed to depend not only on exactly what charges are being presented, and the standard of evidence necessary to reach a guilty verdict in each charge, but also on technical aspects of the law that determine such concepts as legal culpability in the case of a defendent pleading reduced competence, as well as case-specific intructions as to which kinds and/or pieces of evidence must must be included or excluded in reaching a verdict.

As for "fate", sentence is pronounced by a judge not a jury, and appeals are possible.

My own, broad philosophical views could be considered very odd, and might well get me excluded from jury duty, should I make them known.

If I were not dismissed but made it to the jury interview phase (it's called "voir dire", and both sides are allowed to question jurors and each side is allowed to exclude a certain number of potential jurors), my views of the psychiatric profession as a particularly egregious form of pseudo-science staffed with a greater than average share of quacks and charlatains, might result in my exclusion by one or both sides. (I'm not sure if judges too are allowed to participate in voir dire in the United States.)

Right on, Emil.

About 6 rounds of 7.62 mm "voir dire" entered as evidence into Loughner's chest should settle the whole issue.

No further expense, 7 billion persons, minus one. We call that, Progress.

Mr Pulsifer, I appreciate your response. I already knew "every thing" in the 6 paragraphs you posted. I have high praise for your mental acumen. But I can't seem to wring an answer to my question out of your 6 paragraphs other than you will never be in a position to make a decision as a juror. Welcome to my club.

Jon writes about AZ being in the grasp of the white right. Against my better instincts, I joined a mens' club last year and their weekly Monday dinners represent a collection of Midwest transplants. Probably, it is teaching me greater tolerance and maybe even improving my listening skills. At the same time, the experience is affirming how closed-minded and hard-headed many of these gents have become. Out of maybe 150 men, there's one black, no Latinos (visible) and probably no Jews. In many respects, the demographics resemble the Elks club in my Iowa home town 50 years ago. So my conclusion is that my adopted state has become not only a holding pen but a time capsule from the Heartland. Good for meatloaf, maybe, but bad for government because these are the geezers that VOTE!

They still got them slots in the back room ?


"I have high praise for your mental acumen. But I can't seem to wring an answer to my question out of your 6 paragraphs other than you will never be in a position to make a decision as a juror."

Maybe I should be an attorney.

Thanks for that link, Soleri, with its tip of the pen to Mr. Talton. Seattle's downtown sounds most impressive:

"A 2000 study by Paul Sommers and Daniel Carlson found nearly half of all high-tech jobs in the Seattle region were located downtown. Today, Seattle provides a good example of the back-to-the-downtown trend that is reshaping cities across the United States as workers relocate to formerly neglected urban cores that offer transit, walkability and central location."

Incidentally, I expanded Walter Hall's Facebook photo. There goes my Talton-is-Soleri theory. Then again, I was pretty sure that Leon Redbone was Frank Zappa.

Mr. Talton wrote:

"Salon, internationally read, has begun an entire archive devoted to Arizona and the entries are not sunny! Scottsdale! or championship golf! Among the headlines: "How Breitbart and Arizona seized on 'critical race theory' " and "Arizona's vicious war on workers." "

And what role does the state's sole newspaper of record play in this? Today, for example, it ran as its lead Letter to the Editor some damn-fool nonsense about "Sheriff Joe"'s investigation of President Obama's birth certificate:

"...I believe he has found some very interesting information regarding the president. Couple that with some of the things that the late Andrew Breitbart uncovered, and we begin to see a picture of the president that may disturb a few people..."


The editors there seem to have NO sense of public duty, no inclination to select letters whose content contributes to discussions of the public weal or any kind of informed debate, much less fact-checking. It isn't even limited to a bias in favor of conservative claptrap, though of course that is strongly favored. For example, lately there has been a spate of letters arguing about "chemtrails".

For at least two weeks they've been printing letters critical of the newspaper's cartoonist, Steve Benson, in a not-so-subtle attempt to get him to self-censor. Invariably, these complain about his "far left" political views, as if he were an errant Trotskyite. If "the free market" actually encouraged competition and a range of political opinions in the newspaper business, half the state's residents would have a heart attack.

Maybe I should be an attorney.

You would be if your first name was mark.

Yeah, well, if your LAST name was Worthington you would be a used-car dealer. So there.


I'm starting to run across long time supporters of Shriff Joe who feel his die-hard support of Russel Pearce and his birther antics are over the line and they are re-evaluating their support of the sheriff.

Looks like he may "crazy" himself out of office.

Senility can really be a bitch.

cal meet Mark.

Mark meet cal.

Mark meet Emil.

Walter is not Jon.

Jon is Jon.

What the hell is this, a daytime soap opera????????????????

Want to meet my dog spot?

As I have been writing about Phoenix:


Quite a wordy article about Merriam.

But it begs the chicken/egg question:

Which came first, over-population then metropolitan, peak oil, climate issues.

Or was it metro-climate-oil-population?

If I know my species, it's going to keep on "keeping on", if you know what I mean.

So, say we find a solution to:

Peak Oil
Metro life

We will still have that big, unaddressed, unsolved tidal wave of 10, 15, billion hungry, horny, self-centered beings to deal with.

Climate, peak oil, a vibrant downtown are going to be the least of our concerns. 15 billion people pooping all over the planet. Hell, there won't be any place to stand.

Azrebel, overpopulation or overconsumption? It seems most of the drivers for climate change and peak oil are human beings very much like ourselves living in ways that are exacerbating both problems. The 3rd World bunnies, by contrast, have very low carbon footprints. They don't drive, live in air-conditioned huts, or eat high up on the food chain.

We'd rather be careless than carless. We're entitled. The wogs, on the other hand, would ruin our planetary pig-out by simply being. Still, they're the ones who will suffer disproportionately when rising sea levels wipe out their nations (e.g., Bangla Desh) or dries them out so agriculture becomes increasingly difficult (e.g., Sub-Saharan Africa).

We're doing this to them. They're not really doing anything to us.

So true soleri.

Having an overconsumption multiplier on top of the overpopulaton thing is not good.

Thank God we live in a country where I can use imaginary money to buy imaginary carbon credits. As a result, I am walking around with a zero carbon footprint. Al Gore didn't invent the internet, but him and his buddies came up with this carbon credit stuff and it works great. Takes the guilt far, far away. I have the same carbon footprint as a baby monkey in Africa.

It isn't population growth per se, but population growth combined with income growth: it's the combination that leads to increased consumption, and increased consumption requires increased energy inputs, which (where coal and fossil fuels are used) increases pollution as an unwanted production output. That's why China is such a problem, both for oil consumption and as the world leader in carbon dioxide emissions.

Several factors complicate the "peak oil" thesis.

According to environmental scientist Vaclav Smil, today's $100 per barrel price for oil, when adjusted for inflation, is roughly equivalent to 1981 prices. So, it isn't just the absolute dollar number that must be considered, it's the real (i.e., inflation adjusted) purchasing power of the dollar.

Smil also notes that energy intensity, the amount of oil used for a given amount of production, has halved since 1981. And Smil says this can be halved again. Nor is this just the United States and other developed countries. See for example p. 18 (of 88) in the BP Energy Outlook 2030 (January, 2012):


Almost out of online time today.

Sorta off topic but maybe good for a future discussion: enlightened energy policy

US has 6% of the world's population, produces less than 6% of the world's oil and uses about 24% of it. Most optimistic estimates on expanded US production put us at 10% by 2020.
Sobering math, huh?

So what does "all the above" really mean in terms of sequence and priorities. I'm not finding great enlightenment from the media . . no surprise!

Those stats fail to take into account the fact that the United States uses that oil (and other energy inputs) to produce nearly 21 percent of all global manufacturing output, and about 20 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP PPP).

The U.S. is either the Number 1 or Number 2 manufacturer depending on how you interpret the data. (Sorry if I'm not up on the latest wrinkle in this controversy, and I want to use my online time today to do some other research.)

Below, find two links which should prove useful in documenting this.



P.S. According to BP, the United States consumed 21.1 percent of world oil production in 2010, not 24 percent. See p. 9 (the table labeled "Consumption") in this PDF document:


and.............we grow 30% of the world's food even after we waste 25% of our grain on ethenol.

"Extremism", or the part few know of, is all but left out in most mainstream attention spans..

Try this....Ask any Arizona Legislator or Senator for an appointment..for ..'anything'.., including an interview.

The first question by their own hacks will be...

--What "issue" is this regarding..?

--Give me your name and we will get back to you..

This is where "extremism" comes into play, as they do background checks on you, and figure out whether or not they want to give you they time of day..? They base this decision, solely on your party affiliation..or your "issue"..and if it conflicts with "extremist" views of theirs.

Being a "constituent" does not help.. You are not worth the time of day if they do not think there is a vote behind they issue..

"Extremism" at its finest.. and no-one seems to be aware that this is the "norm"..


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